By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – By winning yesterday’s Texas primary, Mitt Romney officially clinched the Republican nomination for president.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Remember just a couple of months ago when a number of pundits were in a lather over how badly Romney’s campaign was faltering, seriously discussed the prospect of a brokered GOP convention this summer, debated how badly Romney had been damaged by the primary fight, and predicted arch-conservatives would never rally behind him?

If you can, try to make a note of who said that, because they didn’t know what they were talking about.

And if you have somehow convinced yourself that Romney can’t go on to win the presidency this fall, better think again.

He prevailed in his 2002 run for governor in a much more hostile environment for wealthy conservative Republicans, for some of the same reasons why he is competitive in this race.

Massachusetts voters ten years ago were anxious about a faltering economy and suffering from a crisis of confidence in a political establishment that had bungled the budget and the Big Dig.

They were looking for someone from the outside with honesty and solid managerial skills to come in and restore confidence, and Romney fit the bill.

And for the first half of his term here, Romney delivered.

He worked well with the legislature to stabilize the budget mess, took steps to restore professionalism to parts of the government that had descended into chaos, and promoted creative policies like smart growth that continue to this day.

But after the 2004 midterm elections, Romney lost interest in the job.

He started running for president, and gave up on trying to deal with a Democratic majority increasingly uninterested in working with him.

Would he be a good president?

Better than the one we have now?

I don’t know.

But whatever you do, don’t think Romney can’t win this thing.

The man just proved he knows how to win, even when the pundits say he can’t.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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